Welcome to Stevenage Festival!
Message from Ron Walker Chairman, Stevenage Festival.
Stevenage Festival has been taking place since 1994 (click here to view a pdf of the 1994 programme) and provides a showcase for all the exciting talent that we have right here on our doorsteps in the Stevenage area. It takes place every two years and involves something like two thousand local performers and artists of all descriptions. The core of the Festival is a series of performances in our very own Gordon Craig Theatre and we also have a vibrant fringe of smaller events taking place around the town. Lots of our performances feature young people taking their first steps in an activity that they love - please come along and support them. Who knows, some of them may go on to great things - and you saw them here first. Whether you are into fine art, poetry, photography, theatre, dance, books or music, from classical concerts to Rock in the Park (click here) to view the last Rock in the Park in 2019 page, there's something in the Festival for you. If you'd like to see the sort of thing that we have done in the past then take a look at our history pages.
We had hoped to be holding another successful Festival in 2021. But ongoing Covid restrictions made it impossible to put on events at the Theatre and elsewhere, so that was not to be. So we focused instead on what we could do rather than what we couldn't, and brought together a range of virtual fringe events for 2021. There were various online talks and lectures; there was a major song project for young people and we also had our first online Photography competition (run in conjunction with Stevenage Photographic Society).
We also caught up by running a small number of events at the Gordon Craig in October 2021 (See History page for Main and Fringe event details for 2021).
We're looking forward to getting back on track with a full Festival in June 2023 and maybe some special events before that including a mini-Festival in June 2022 – see our "What’s On" page for details, particularly to give some of the youngsters who missed out in 2021 a chance to perform on stage. Follow our page on Facebook to keep up with the latest news. (There's a link at the foot of this page to our social media)
If you are a local arts group and would like to get involved then please get in touch (email details at the foot of the page). We'd also be pleased to hear from any local businesses or other organisations who would like to be part of this creative initiative that helps make Stevenage a better place to live and work.
I would like to thank all the people who make the Festival possible - all the local groups and individuals who work so hard to put on performances and events and the audiences who come to support them; our patrons for their support; Stevenage Arts Guild, which keeps the arts on the agenda all year round; Hertfordshire Music Service; local councillors who have squeezed funds for us out of their locality budgets; the Gordon Craig Theatre and my committee of volunteers who work tirelessly to make the whole thing happen.
Artistic and cultural activity is vital for wellbeing and for community building - we look forward to playing our part in restoring and enhancing these activities for the people in our town.
Stevenage Festival Organisation
Festivals like this take a long time to plan.
Planning for 2023: We are holding a general meeting to discuss the 2021 and future Festivals at the Gordon Craig Theatre on Friday 12 November 2021 at 7pm. Anyone who would like to be involved in the Festival is welcome to attend. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to receive further information.
If you are a local arts group and want to know more or would like to be involved then please contact us at the "Info" email address at the foot of this page.
If you have any questions, or want to provide feedback about events, please feel free to contact us at either of the email addresses at the foot of this page. Your feedback is always appreciated.
The Festival is grateful to the following patrons for their support:
The Lord Lieutenant of Hertfordshire, The Lord Cobbold,
Martha Lytton-Cobbold, Rebecca Hughes,
Councillor Richard Henry, Simon Speller,
Professor Howard Burrell, Marie Joy Taylor,
Ellen Terry May Craig, Helen Craig,
Vicki Michelle and Giles Terera.
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